Monday 20 May 2019

Etihad Airways has a $20,000 suite, and this man was first to try it out

Introducing 'The Residence'

Gino Bertuccio, the first man to fly in Etihad's 'Residence; suites. His ticket cost $20,000.
Gino Bertuccio, the first man to fly in Etihad's 'Residence; suites. His ticket cost $20,000.
The Residence by Etihad,billed as "the world’s most luxurious living space in the air" is available on the airline’s A380 aircraft.
The Residence by Etihad,billed as "the world’s most luxurious living space in the air" is available on the airline’s A380 aircraft.
Etihad butlers at the Savoy in London. Picture by Harry Page.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Gino Bertuccio has just paid $20,000 to become the first passenger to fly in Etihad's three-room 'Residence'.

The Residence is the world's only three-room "suite in the sky", featuring a living room, double bedroom and en-suite shower on its Airbus A380 aircraft.

Bertuccio, a  Miami-based Italian businessman and aviation enthusiast, also enjoyed the services of a dedicated Savoy Academy-trained butler for the duration of his flight on what is believed to be the world's only private, multi-room cabin on a commercial passenger aircraft.

His inaugural trip, between London and Abu Dhabi on December 27th, has been billed as "the most exclusive ticket in aviation history" – albeit by the airline itself.

The Residence costs $20,000 for one or two people... each way.


Etihad Airways 'The Residence' - First Flyer interview (video, above).

Mr. Bertuccio has a history of taking inaugural flights - clocking some 22 'first' and 'final' flights over a period of 25 years in premium class cabins.

He is an avid collector of airline memorabilia with nearly 2,000 model airplanes, as well as albums filled with boarding passes, certificates and photos from past flights.

"Being on inaugurals for aviation enthusiasts is being part of aviation history," he says. "It's like a new adventure."

Last November, reports suggested that 'The Residence' had sold out for its first 10 flights. "There's a market there," as Etihad Chief Executive James Hogan told Bloomberg.

the_residence_bed.png
The Residence by Etihad,billed as "the world’s most luxurious living space in the air" is available on the airline’s A380 aircraft.

“For the first time in my flying experience, I really don’t know what to expect but I do know that flying in the Residence by Etihad will be a truly unique adventure, the top of luxury," Bertuccio said.

"My only wish is that the flight was longer."

Read more:

Review: What's it like to fly Emirates Business Class? 

Etihad airline passengers in 12-hour tarmac ordeal without food or proper information What’s it really like inside the world’s most luxurious hotel?

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